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Projects

Revival of Industrial heritage for tourism development

The project Revival of Industrial heritage for tourism development launch in May 2017 within the framework of INTERREG Estonia-Latvia cross border cooperation programme. The main partners of the project are Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Riga planning regions, as well as NGO West-Estonia Tourism and Foundation South-Estonian Tourism. There are 26 owners and users of the industrial heritage sites are involved into the implementation of the project.

The total budget of the Project is 1 143 135.40 EUR, of which the ERDF contribution is 971 665.09 EUR and co-financing by the project partners is 171 470.31 EUR. The ERDF contribution makes up 85% of the total project budget.

Gulbenes-Alūksnes bānītis Ltd is one of the project partners from Vidzeme region. Operational Gulbene-Aluksne narrow gauge railway is only preserved railway heritage and industrial heritage site of this kind in Latvia. Gulbene depot, which is going to be developed within the framework of the project, is the most important part of the industrial heritage railway site and also the tour starting point for Gulbene-Aluksne narrow gauge railway’s visitors.

The most of the tourist activities is taking place in the depot facilities or all around the area of depot. Riding the hand driven trolley on the narrow gauge railway tracks are specifically requested attraction for visitors, therefore reconstruction of the trolley dated back to early 20th century will be great added value for thousands of visitors each year coming to see the only operational narrow gauge railway in Latvia. In the same time there will be created small exhibition or visitor’s area on the first floor in the Gulbene depot premises telling story about history of the Gulbene-Aluksne narrow gauge railway and how this site step by step is being converted from ordinary passenger/freight carrying railway into attractive tourist and museum railway. Aiming to visualized history and possibilities for tourist activities on the heritage railway, as well as to inform about the tourist sites in vicinity of the narrow gauge railway line will be produced promotional video. There will be two large screens/monitors mounted to walls due to ensure perfect visibility of promotional video in the depot’s visitor’s area.

The main project activities, especially renovation works will be finished at the June 2018.

Homepage of the programme:
https://estlat.eu/en/estlat-results/industrial-heritage.html

Interreg logo

The premises on the first floor of Gulbene depot before renovation
The premises on the first floor of Gulbene depot before renovation

The hand driven trolley rides on Gulbene-Alūksne railway. Photo beginning of 20th century
The hand driven trolley rides on Gulbene-Alūksne railway. Photo beginning of 20th century

Drawings of trolley made according to historical photos
Drawings of trolley made according to historical photos

Renovation of Kalniena station

Since year 2011 the Gulbene - Alūksne Railway Company (Banitis) in cooperation with Industrial Heritage Trust of Latvia launched the Kalniena station renovation project. This has been made possible thanks to financial support from the State Heritage Protection Inspectorate, Cultural Capital Foundation and state stock company "Latvijas dzelzceļš" as well as other sponsors.

The project includes the strengthening of the station foundations, renewal of decayed wall timbers and replacement flooring within the station building.

In recent years steps have been taken to assess the condition of Kalniena station building and restore the facades to their early 20th century condition.

The first most visible step to achieve that was the reconstruction of the roof construction, which was done in year 2014.

The work now taking place thus is just a part of the larger project for the renovation of the whole station. During year 2015 is going on developing the drawings for reconstruction of the interior for the station premises.

A historical exhibition together with premises for railway volunteers will be provided following completion of the restoration project.

Project supported by:

The State Inspection for Heritage Protection logo The State Culture Capital Foundation logo State Joint Stock Company "Latvijas dzelzcels" logo

Kalniena station at the beginning of 20th century
Kalniena station
at the beginning of 20th century

Station's cellar after renovations at 4th October, 2012
Station's cellar after renovations
at 4th October, 2012

Renovation of the flooring in the 3rd class waiting-room at 12th November, 2012
Renovation of the flooring
in the 3rd class waiting-room
at 12th November, 2012

Kalniena station during renovation at 7th August, 2013
Kalniena station during renovation
at 7th August, 2013

Kalniena station during renovation at 28th April, 2015
Kalniena station during renovation
at 28th April, 2015

Restoration of Gr-319 class steam engine

Restoration of the Gr-319 class steam engine, which has been leased by the Lavasaare Museum Railway, proceeded from 2007 until 2014. Locomotive Gr-319 built by German company "Orenstein & Koppel" in 1951. Since early 1990-ties this engine was a part of rolling stock collection located in Lavasaare Museum.

During the restoration the steam engine and its tender were fully dismantled, parts cleaned, renovated and reassembled. Missed parts were restored according to factory drawings. The original braking system and electrical installations also were completely renovated according to drawings.

During the renovation of the tender’s frame specialists of the Gulbene depot had to relearn the method of riveting.

The most complicated were refurbishing of wheel sets as well as adjusting rolling parts. Lot of time was spent for restoration of the boiler, especially for exchange defective rivets.

Local specialists in Gulbene depot carried out almost the entire job of restoring the steam engine.

Presentation and naming of newly restored steam engine Gr-319 “Ferdinands” took place at Gulbene depot in 13th May 2014.

Project supported by:

State Joint Stock Company "Latvijas dzelzcels" logo "LDz Ritosa sastava serviss" Ltd logo "LDz Cargo" Ltd logo Riga Varnish and Paint Factory logo

Restoration of the steam engine in 2010
Restoration of the steam engine
in 2010

Boiler is ready for installation on the steam engine in 2011ā
Boiler is ready for installation
on the steam engine in 2011

Restoration of the tender completed in 2011
Restoration of the tender completed
in 2011

Presentation of the steam engine at 13th May, 2014
Presentation of the steam engine
at 13th May, 2014

Corner Corner
"Gulbenes - Alūksnes bānītis" Ltd
Viestura street 16G, Gulbene, Gulbene district, LV-4401
+371 64473037, info@banitis.lv